Traveling is never a walk in the park...for us it's more of a trip or stumble. We learned early on when we studied abroad together that for some reason, we attract peculiar situations. Our days never ran smoothly. Either we were sprinting to catch a train, hunting the streets for a McDonald's when we were grumpy or getting lost in translation. But not one day went by where we didn't laugh over our mishaps. Hey, they always make for good stories. Last Fall was no different; so without further ado, please enjoy our top embarrassing moments abroad:
ATTACK OF THE PIGEONS
Nothing screams "watch these girls look like idiots" like having a giant flock of pigeons attack you in the middle of Amsterdam's main square. We spent our entire trip in Europe running from these giant rats with wings. Picture two grown women huddling together screaming/crying/laughing (a truly terrifying combo) as a hoard of our least favorite creature flew at us. What makes this even better is that this was a very public area, so groups of strangers had the pleasure of watching our humiliation.
If you know us, then you know Lexa and I are a bit notorious for barely making all forms of transportation. It doesn't matter if we build mountains of extra time into our schedule. Somehow we always end up sprinting to our train, missing it, or barely making it through the doors. After checking out Snowdonia National Park for the day, we were hanging out in a station cafe while waiting to catch our train out of Wales. Per our usual luck, it arrived early and we weren't paying attention. Suddenly, we noticed the train at our platform and went into straight panic mode, praying it wouldn't pull out of the station without us.
In the process of snatching up our bags, our table toppled over, causing a huge scene. Since I was in little booties, Lexa ran ahead to hold the doors open for me. For some reason, I found it extremely important to grab her box of mints on the floor and to scream, "I HAVE YOUR MINTS!" while running behind her, as if it was the most valuable thing in the world. I jumped through the doors just as they were closing...right on my bag. We pulled and tugged until the doors finally released it. We collapsed in our seats, breathless and completely out of sorts, but also feeling victorious that we didn't miss the thing. Cue the awkward moment when the guy across the aisle just ended up staring at us while we sat - unmoving - for at least five minutes *face palm.*
Booking an AirBnb is always a bit risky. What if it doesn't look the same as online? What if the location isn't right?...Or what if you have naked roommates? A new trend we saw traveling is that now people actually run their AirBnb's like real B&Bs. So it's super common to share a house with a bunch of strangers each renting a room. While hanging out in our room in Cardiff, Caroline went to wash her face before bed.
Suddenly I heard her stammer, "Oh...sorry" before scurrying back into our room with a wild look on her face. "He was naked," she said. Huh? She proceeded to rehash the unexpected flashing incident. Apparently the bathroom door had been cracked open, so Caroline knocked before entering. Instead of responding like a sane person-covering yourself with a towel, replying "in a minute," or closing the door-the strange guy announced: "I'm coming out. And I'm naked." Poor Caroline was scarred for the rest of our stay, but luckily our eccentric neighbor locked the bathroom door from then on.
ROXANNE: THE DEVIL'S CAR
In the spirit of adventure, we decided to take a road trip through the English countryside. Nothing sounds more peaceful than that, right? Well, it would have been if our car hadn't malfunctioned. Oh, and I hadn't learned how to drive stick shift two weeks before. Out of nowhere, our car started shutting off at stoplights. We almost got hit in the middle of a busy intersection, were cussed out multiple times and had to beg a construction crew to reverse the stupid thing for us. After two days of constant stopping/starting and straight up fear every time we came to a stop light, we decided Roxanne had seen her final days. After getting pushed off the road (for the third time) and being stranded for over two hours, we were calling it quits on this relationship. Only public transportation from now on. There's only so much terror that two girls can laugh off and only so many Mcnuggs that can heal the emotional stress Roxanne put us through.
"I HATE MY LIFE"
When we finally arrived in Madrid-our home away from home-after two years masterminding our great return to Spain, we were excited to experience life in this fantastic country again. Too bad we didn't factor carrying a 50 lb. suitcase, backpacks and two carry-on bags into the equation. Instead of getting a taxi (like normal people) we decided to take the "we're independent, strong women" route...which we regretted instantly. By our fourth metro transfer during rush hour, we were dripping in sweat and literally throwing our bags-which were about as big as we are-down the staircases (because of course none of the metro stations have elevators). A few kind men attempted to help us, but they seemed a bit scared once they encountered a frustrated Caroline yelling "I hate my life!" as she hurdled her suitcase down yet another flight of stairs.
If you know Mai, then you know that most of the time she's either eating or thinking about eating. So, it only makes sense that when showing us around Austria, she included restaurants in the tour. After scrolling through TripAdvisor, we decided on a nice sushi place and set out to find it. When we arrived, it looked nothing like we expected. It was extremely narrow with a to-go window and three tables squished in the corner. We sat scrolling through the online photos again trying to decide how they'd gotten away with lying about so many details. Did we choose the wrong side of the restaurant and there was another, nice side right through a door? It wasn't until we left that we realized there were two Asian restaurants literally right next to each other. Our powers of observation are clearly always on point. Whoops.